Friday, March 19, 2021


 Today is my birthday.  I won't tell you how many but I do know, that after this past year, life is too short to not enjoy it!  Last night was my local guild meeting and I was so excited because I had spent the last month making gifts that I wanted to share with the group.  But let me digress a bit.  

I set the program for Pins and Pincushions early in the year but I knew that I would need to do some research about my topic to make it effective.  So I started researching all about pins and pincushions, looking for free patterns and more.  First I posted on The Scrappy Girls Club on Facebook and Heather sent me this file!

What a treasure of pincushion ideas but I continued my search.  I found this video from Fat Quarter Shop featuring Sherry McConnell on how she makes her pincushions.  And then I was off and running.  I located the bag of walnut bird litter on Amazon for $6.99, ordered a bag.  And I also looked into other things that could be used for stuffing a pincushion.  

My favorites and things I used.

1.  walnut bird litter.  You can also find walnut shells in some quilt shops.

2.  000 steel wool, great for sharpening your pins

3.  Batting leftovers cut into 1" to 2" squares ( you know those long strips?  )

4.  Fiber Fill

5.  Sliver trimmings from blocks

6.  Fabric cut offs from my serger

7.  Fusible Fleece and lightweight interfacing.  

The first pincushion I made was for the top of a jar that holds my quilting pins.  

I chose to use a 000 steel wool and covered it in batting and then stuffed some more around the edges.  It made a nice rounded cushion for me to keep track of all those pins and it certainly was prettier than the black lid!  The ribbon I folded and sewed together during my wait time after getting my second vaccine and I glued it on.  I just love it!  

Next I searched through my cupboards to see if I could find a teacup or something cute I could make into a pincushion.  

I found this cute basket that previously held spices, added  a Yankee Candle jar lid to the bottom to make it sturdy, a purchased pincushion glued in and ribbons.  

And thirdly, I used an orphan block from the Farmer's Wife series made from 1930's fabrics.  Make sure when you are stuffing your pincushions to push the batting bits into the corners before adding the walnut shells.  Most of my pincushions were a mix of shells and batting and other bits.  

I had so much fun making and stuffing pincushions I accumulated about 15 and decided to give 9 away to my guild members for my birthday!  I've been a member of the Silver Threads Quilt Guild for 10 years and it was so much fun for me!  

I also decided to make 3 pincushions to offer for purchase.  

A local shop has these seaside appliques for sale, complete with fusible attached to them.  Iron them onto a piece of fabric and blanket stitch around them.  One blog writer that I follow suggested always adding a button to a pincushion for a place to plant your needles instead of mixing them in with all the pins.  That was fun finding buttons to use!

In addition to bringing all the pincushions I had made to the guild meeting, I also asked members to bring a favorite.  We had 2 very unique and antique pincushioins made out of walnut and several others.  So cute! I so enjoyed it and what a wonderful birthday gift for me!  

Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Pincushions and more!

     So lately I"ve been making pincushions for a guild program on March 18.  These things are really addictive and you can make them with a very tiny bit of fabric.  You can fussy cut designs, use orphan blocks and cut off HST and more.  I've had so much fun I think I'll turn it into an industry.  

I was at a local quilt shop last week and I purchased this seahorse and starfish for another project.  But when I started making pincushions, I decided to use them, along with the crab that I purchased in Maryland a few years back, to make pincushions.  The starfish is 5" square for a reference.  These three are numbers 9, 10, and 11 of the ones I have made.  I need to take photos of the rest because I'm donating 8 them to the guild for door prizes.  These cut outs are done with an accuquilt die I believe and a local shop has them available with fusible interfacing already attached.  All you have to do is iron them onto a piece of background fabric and go from there.  I'll delve more into how to make these on another blog. 

I was so enamored with making pincushions in the last month, my room has exploded and I still have plenty of projects not being made.  I even put them on my Etsy shop!

Maybe I'll sell a few.  My intention is to make them as they are sold.  Hah, we will see how that goes.  Later.  

Thursday, March 4, 2021

Feeling lighter!

    So I've sort of been working on cleaning up my space but it certainly goes slow for me.  When I moved the bookcase out of my closet to my son's room and brought in the wire rack to the closet, I went through several bins of patriotic fabric.  

Last year, I had participated in Bonnie Hunter's Unity quilt project for quarantine.   

This is the quilt in progress.  In so doing, I used up quite a lot of Patriotic fabrics and quite honestly, how many times can you make a quilt using the same fabrics, over and over.  

So I gathered up a grocery bag full of 3 1/2 tops that I had created and bags of red/white/blue scraps and took them to a friend who sews for Quilts of Valor.  Its so cathartic to rid yourself of "stuff".  One persons scraps are another persons treasure!  Feeling accomplished.  

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Hope...A block a day!

 I've been following Pat Sloan for the past year, started around March when the pandemic started.  Thankfully that bit of our lives is coming to an end.  Pat has given us a free block to create one a day for March.

And she gives us a lesson in selecting colors to put together.  After 35 years as an interior designer, colors come easy to me.  I did like her first version with the pink and teal but she felt it was too busy.  So I'm thinking, do I want to start making a block a day?  Its easy for me to keep up with but I'm already doing her Home blocks and the Sewcialite blocks which come out on Friday.  Do I want to add another?  Not sure.  

Yesterday, I had pulled out all of the patriotic fabrics that I want to get rid of, or "share" with others.  There were 4 tops that were started.  Someone who is creative could just add some borders and they would be big enough for Quilts of Valor.  I filled one of those grocery paper bags to the top and still have more I can stuff into another bag.  Last year, when I sewed along with Unity, I delved into my patriotic fabrics and used quite a bit of them.  So the rest of them just need a new home.  I still have quite a bit I am keeping so why not share the rest?  There are quite a few 2 1/2" squares and 2 1/2" HST.  Someone will enjoy them!  On to organizing.